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AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES GALORE (Part I)

Posted May 27 2009 10:15pm

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES GALORE (Part I)

Thank you to all of you wonderful readers out there who have sent the loveliest messages to me.  Encouraging words are  awesome, but knowing that behind each email, comment, or call that there’s someone who knows my physical and often my mental pain – that’s amazing.  As many of you would concur  - I would not wish the pain of RA, CP, or any pain of the heart on anyone.  

THE OVERVIEW

My heart and spirit are much lighter today then in many months.  Why the difference?  First, I was pulled off of Wellbutrin (an anti-depressant) and within 7 days my entire outlook felt brighter then it has since November (when I went on it).  I am glad i tried it out – I really did need to be on anti-depressants at the time… but I am shocked at how suicidal it eventually made me feel.  I broke all of the glass in my kitchen, cut up my arm really badly (on purpose), then cut up my legs and other arm when that didn’t seem to do the trick (not to die, but simply to cause myself that numbing pain that all cutters know so well).   It was a nightmare, but for the first time I see it was really a call for help.  I needed help so badly.  I was/am deeply lucky Jax (my ex-boyfriend and best friend) heard all the glass breaking because he came over and helped me clean up.  Then he called my parents and doctors.  Of course I feared he’d want to stay far as hell away from me after that but it’s had an odd effect I’ll write about in a minute.

So this is the state of things now:  I just got diagnosed with my 4th autoimmune disease: DIABETES!   I had pre-diabetes for the past year, but now it is full-blown diabetes.  This is the cause of my never-ending weight battle.  Now I’ll still have to work out 3-4 times a week, but at least I’ve begun moving the scale (and not just under the table).   So here’s my current autoiummune disease list: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Interstitial Cystitis, Hypothyroid, Diabetes 2 and then Chronic Pancreatitis. And I also have the tentative Lupus Dx sitting in the wings.  I always wonder if it all tied to Lupus.  Anyhow, the news did not shake me the way i would’ve thought.  Now I think it is all hysterical.  I mean, it’s literally gotten absurd.   (Read more about my personal life on this subject here)  I’m sure it’s all related in some way that modern medicine can’t decode. 

 

THE DEPRESSION/GETTING HELP

Now, about my severe depression.  I am feeling a lot better, but my Dr’s have told me it is very usual to fall into this trap AFTER the pain is finally under control.   I’m back on Enbrel and my other meds including my amazing medicine pump (for CP).  But the depression will always linger unless I get serious help.  My body is still so fragile (even if my mind is finally on its way back up).  I’m positive that the horrific things I went through as a child play a larger role in this then modern medicine can comprehend yet.  I’ll be going to a day program starting in a few weeks to get that help.  I have no idea how to fit work into this plan, but I’ll have to find a way to make it all work out.

CASE MANAGER/GET IT!!

One major help has come from the oddest source.  I called the case management department of my insurance company and got one assigned to me.  It’s been a huge help and I am so grateful to my case manager for getting other departments I didn’t even know existed to contact & help me.  If you have health insurance and a chronic disease I urge you to get a case manager. It’s a free service (since you’re already paying an arm and a leg).  

THE DIET

The next battle is going to be finding a diet that works for Diabetes AND chronic pancreatitis.  I’ve been so limited already, but apparently I’ve been picking the wrong food items. (For CP I do NO alcohol, NO Spicy foods, only s tiny bit of acidic foods meaning only maximum of 1 glass of orange juice a WEEK, and extremely low fat so no fried foods. ) So I am actually excited to try out a new food plan.  First goal: get rid of gluten, breads, no potato, anything with high carbs (anything above 25 carbs will need to either have tons of protein/fiber or be REALLY worth it).  So I’ at 173lbs and very interested to see if this awful weight I gained when I took Predisone over a year ago finally heads out the door.  I think the steroid must have really screwed up my system beyond fierce.  I never had pre-diabetes until I took it!  I don’t have proof but it seems obvious.   FYI – If you have CP I firmly believe that changing your diet at least by 50% will lower your pain level dramatically.  You must be proactive.

SIDE-NOTE

So this is the total sum of what’s going on.  I’m getting over the flu/cold and had to take a small dose of steroids against my wishes.  When I get sick now it is like a real fine line between death and life.  I have mounds of work to try to accomplish.  I’m so behind on everything – it’ an understatement.  But at least the pieces are starting to go back together.

Love, Sasha xoxoxo

PS – To read THE PERSONAL TOLL (Part Two of this post) Click HERE.

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